Nigeria , Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo and other eight African countries are to benefit from a $500 million grant from Global Fund to combat Tuberculosis (TB).
The other benefiting countries include Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Ghana.
The Senior Disease Coordinator at the Global Fund, Dr. Eliud Wanerdwalo, disclosed this at the 33rd Stop TB Partnership virtual Board Meeting, yesterday.
He revealed that Nigeria is expected to get about $143 million from the total grant to improve its health system to effectively respond and contain TB for the next three years.
“We are collectively investing about $500M over the next three years to fight TB, Malaria and HIV. This present about 45 per cent of our investment. So you can see how important these regions are to the Global Fund,” Wanerdwalo said.
He, however, regretted that: “COVID-19 pandemic has jeopardised global efforts to save millions of lives and provide access to essential TB care and prevention.
“Health systems are overstretched due to the unprecedented global health emergency, leading to serious restrictions in access to TB diagnosis, treatment, and prevention services.
“Globally, these disruptions could result in an additional 6.3 million people developing TB and 1.4 million additional deaths resulting from TB between 2020 and 2025.
“We leverage countries which we had presented today, and Nigeria will receive $143 million for TB for the next three years.”
Speaking, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, reiterated the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to end TB epidemic in Nigeria.
He warned that it is impossible to achieve the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) “if we continue to allow our people to be devastated by preventable and curable diseases.”
Ehanire assured that the federal government is committed to working collectively and in synergy with our partners for TB response in Nigeria in the same passion we eradicated wild polio virus.
He applauded the STOP TB Partnership for its leadership role and all the effort to end TB in the world.
“I also want to appreciate other funding and technical partners (especially the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM), WHO and United States Government) for your continued support for TB and the COVID – 19 pandemic response,” he said.
On her part, the Wife of the President, Dr. Aisha Buhari, advocated for new strategies to end TB globally.
While expressing her commitment to ending TB both globally and in Nigeria, the First Lady said: “As the Global TB Champion and Ambassador, I am very committed to support activities at the global, regional and national level towards re-galvanizing our efforts to end TB.
“I also still want to solicit for more of your support for Nigeria. As you know, we cannot end TB in the world if we cannot end it in Nigeria.
“And ending TB in a country as big as Nigeria is a huge task, that is why we need increased multi-sectoral and multi-lateral support.”